The Union League Movement in the Deep South: Politics and Agricultural Change During Reconstruction

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9780807126332: The Union League Movement in the Deep South: Politics and Agricultural Change During Reconstruction

Led by a coalition of blacks and whites with funding from congressional radicals, the Union League was a secret society whose express purpose was to bring freedmen into the political arena after the Civil War. Angry and resentful of the lingering vestiges of the plantation system, freedmen responded to the League’s appeals with alacrity, and hundreds of thousands joined local chapters, speaking and acting collectively to undermine the residual trappings of slavery in plantation society.

League actions nurtured instability in the work force, which eventually compelled white planters to relinquish direct control over blacks, encouraging the evolution from gang labor to decentralized tenancy in the southern agricultural system as well as the emergence of the Ku Klux Klan. In this impressive work―the first full-scale study of the effect the Union League had on the politicization of black freedmen―Michael W. Fitzgerald explores the League’s influence in Alabama and Mississippi and offers a fresh and original treatment of an important and heretofore largely misunderstood aspect of Reconstruction history.

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About the Author:

Michael W. Fitzgerald, professor of history at St. Olaf College, is the author of Urban Emancipation: Popular Politics in Reconstruction Mobile, 1860–1890.

Review:

“[This] book’s focus on the role of the Freedmen’s Bureau and the Union League in reconstructing postwar social and economic life will make [it] essential reading for students of Reconstruction and southern history.” (Georgia Historical Quarterly)

“A tightly-focused, well-executed monograph that argues for a reconsideration of the significance of the League and its impact on the course of black freedom in Alabama and Mississippi.” (Journal of Southern History)

“One of the great untold stories of Reconstruction. . . . It is a wonder that this book has not been written before, but it is a relief that it has finally been written so well.” (Virginia Quarterly Review)

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Book Description Louisiana State University Press, United States, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Led by a coalition of blacks and whites with funding from congressional radicals, the Union League was a secret society whose express purpose was to bring freedmen into the political arena after the Civil War. Angry and resentful of the lingering vestiges of the plantation system, hundreds of thousands of freedmen joined local chapters, speaking and acting collectively to undermine the residual trappings of slavery in plantation society. In this impressive work the first full-scale study of the effect the Union League had on the politicization of black freedmen Michael W. Fitzgerald explores the League s influence in Alabama and Mississippi and offers a fresh and original treatment of an important and heretofore largely misunderstood aspect of Reconstruction history. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780807126332

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